De Bruyne has been City’s standout player in a disappointing season (Picture: Getty Images)

Former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp admits Manchester City‘s Kevin De Bruyne deserves the Player of the Year award above Reds trio Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson.

The Belgian midfielder’s goal and assist in City’s 2-0 win over West Ham on Wednesday night represented his eighth league strike and 16th assist of the season.

De Bruyne’s sparkling display prompted ex-Liverpool midfielder Redknapp to concede the 28-year-old should scoop the prize for Premier League player of the year.

After the game, he told Sky Sports: ‘When he’s on the pitch he’s head and shoulders above anyone else. I didn’t think Silva could be beat but KDB is taking it to the next level.

‘It was like he had a force field around him today – no one was allowed to tackle him. His passes are always so inviting, cutting open defences.

‘It was also what he did without the ball, his all-round game right now is on another level. He’s not in the team of the year but for me, he’s the player of the year.

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Despite Liverpool’s record-breaking season, with their form of 24 wins in 25 games the best ever start to a season by any team in Europe, Redknapp still feels De Bruyne excels over any individual in Jurgen Klopp’s side.

He added: ‘The contenders VVD, [Virgil van Dijk] amazing season, Henderson, big fan, even Mane, but look at KDB’s numbers, 20 assists, miles ahead of those around him. He is the best player in the country right now by a mile.’

Manchester City may face a battle to keep their star players, including De Bruyne, following the news of their two-year ban from the Champions League.

Manager Pep Guardiola insists he will not quit in light of the UEFA ruling, which is due to be appealed by the club to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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